tv United Nations 21st Century LINKTV April 1, 2016 1:30pm-2:01pm PDT
[music] narrator: coming up on "21st century"... two stories of immense courage. a defector from north korea building hope. and rescued from the holocaust, keeping faith in humanity. darusman: this is a system that has no parallel in the mern world, in terms s of its hold on its own people. narratator: north korerea, its people t trapped in misery. sokeel: the north korean government uses public execututions still to this day.
narrator: a story of immense courage and e escape. narrator: and the struggle to build undererstanding betetwn divided peoples. [chinyung speaking korean] [both laugh] [mother speaking korean] narrator: a wedding rehearsal. the big day is still a few weeks ahead. [chinyung speaking korean] chanyang: mmm-mmm. narrator: chanyang with her fiance chinyung and mother is sampling thehe menu and venue
for her wedding banquet, which will take place here soon. just a few years ago, chanyang never imagined that life would take her here, to this land of such plenty. she and her family now live in seoul, south korea's dynamic capital city. but they're from one of the most isolated and repressive nations on earth, where she spspent mostst of her childhood starving.
narrator: chanyang grew in north korea, also known as the democratic peoples'' republic of korea, or dprk, which in the 1990s suffered anan immense fame due to the e political policiesf the country's leaders. according to united nations estimates, up to two million pepeople died of starvation. north koreans risked their lives to shoot this present day footage inside the country.
narrator: the kim family, who've ruleled north korea a since e te 1940s, have used the state to build the country's military might, including, allegedly, nuclear weapons, instead of feeding their people. the governmement, both tn n and nowow, runs the country with an iron fist, any dissent penalized with torture, incarceration, or death. ssokeel: northororean people basicacay understatand that ifif they express the wrong kinind of thoughts, the whole family can be punished. this could mean they're sent to, you know, an inhospitable part of the rural countryside, or it could mean that they're actually just sent completely to a political prison camp p and completelyly shut off from even n other ordinary north koreans. torture is tragically just a part of a criminal investigation in north korea. and the executions also, you
know, the north korean government uses public executions still to this day in order to send a message andnd to spreaead fear. narrator: and because all media and internet are state controlled, ordinary people have no access to the web or foreign press and are led to believe that this is s the normal way to live. but against this backdrop of terror and control, chanyang's family secretly listened to radio broadcasts from the outside world. narrator: somehow he had to get the family out to have a chance of a decent life in south korea.
narrator: chanyang's mother al suffered. [newsreel music] newsreel announceer: the problem of korea also... narrator: the tragic division of the two koreas took place decades ago... and the peninsula was torn apart by one of the most brutal civil wars the world has seen. [drums] after mounting hostilities, during which the united nations
tried to maintain peace, in 1950 communistst north korea invaded the south. the united nations securitity cocouncil intervened, didispatcg both a ceasefire order and a u.n. force to counter the invasion. for 3 years, both diplomamats and troops struggled to restore peace. eventually, a two-mile-wide buffer zone was established between the two sides. but despite the ceasefire, the two countries are technically still at war with each other. chanyang and her family are not the only ones to have been separated by the division. 94-year-old mr. gang fled from
north to south during the war. he left t his family behind, and then had no contact with any of his loved ones in north korea for 60 years. darusman: hello. narrator: today, he tells his story to marzuki darusman, an independent expert. [interpreter speaking] narrator: mr. darusman is tasked by the united nations human rights council to investigate violations of people's rights by the north korean regime, such as the separation of families from their loved ones. [mr. gang and darusman speaking indistinctly] darusman: family reunion should not be seen as a humanitarian issue. it's -it's a human right in itself. 60,000 families are known to be separated. we are appealing, pushing the south korean government also to give it the highest priority, actually, in reaching out to the
north koreans. narrator: ha-mu jing from the south korean ministry of unification says some 6-7 million people on both sides remain separated from loved ones. narrator: and thanks to these efforts, there has been some progress. mr. gang was chosen to take part in a reunion of divided families, one of just 20 such meetings since 2000. family members from the south, most of them now in their 80s, traveled to the north to meet their long lost loved ones. mr. gang, who'd applied to meet his sister, found instead that he had a son he didn't even know existed, who'd been born to his former wife.
to the division of the countries and the suffering of the people. darusman: this is a system that has no parallel in n the modern world, in terms of its hold on its own people, in terms of its massive scale of human rights violations, and in terms of its totalistic control of the very lives ofof its i individual citizens.. narrator: barred from entering north korea, mr. darusman visits neighboring countries. on this visit, he's in south korea to gather information on the situation and to bring an end to the ongoing injustice. he meets people like mr. gang, as well as high-level officials. today he's at the ministry of unification, which has responsibility for reuniting the two koreas. darusman: good morning. ha-mu: good morning. thank you. then with a nongovernmental organization. and with the help of such organizations as liberty in north korea, which helps
defectors escape and settle in the south, he meets with north kokoreans who tellll first-hand stories of life on the other side. [indistinct conversations] tonight, in a meeting held at the u.n. human rights office in seoul, he meets young people. among them is chanyang. chanyang explains how, after 3 years of separation from her family, she finally escaped. narrator: she underwent a dangerous onward journey through china. if north koreans are caught, the chininese authorities, a against international agreements,
usually sent them back to north korea. narrator: and then on to thailand, where she was tranansferred to south korea and finally reunited with her family. >> [speaking korean] narrator: 3 years have now passed, and chanyang's life has taken a new direction. woman: are you nervous? man: is it ok? second man: yes.
sokeel: chanyang is a great example of the value and the role that northth korean refuges can play. and she's helping south korean and even international audieiences understand d a lot more than we used to about north korea.. chanyang: so,'m so h happy now.. yeah. like dreaming. [cheering and applause] thank you. narrator: mr. darusman's role also includes sharing information about what's going on inside this closed state, to foster the urgent need for change. as one of dozens of special rapporteurs, he and the other independent experts are mandated to investigate whether countries are upholding international human rights. and mr. darusman's priority now is t to helplp bring thosese responsible for the violations to justice. darusman: begin to imagine the psychological suffering of these familieies... for the moment, we do have to recognize that, uh, the
democratic peoples' republic of korea continues to pose a challenge toto the our community in tererms of f its continuing practice of totalitarian repression of its people. we do have satellite images that clearly corroborates the existence of these camps. between 180,000 to 200,000 inmates are being incarcerated. crimes against humanity took place and continue to take place in that country. narrator: as well as taking part in a u.n. commission of inquiry in 2013, the reports on his findings go to the highest level here at the general assembly in new york. darusman: acts of torture and horrific ill treatment of individuals... dprk representative: mr. president, as a delegation of ththe countryry concerned, wewed lilike once e again to c categoy reject the special rapporteur
and his report on the human rights situation in the dprk. this special rapporteur and his report constitute extreme manifestation of politicization, selectivity, and double standards and have no o relevane whatatsoever with genuine humamn rights. darusman: we did serve notice to the supreme leader that--that for crimes against humanity, these have to be stopped. now, that was in 2014. nothing much has happppened. we are now in an accountatabity stage. the committee of inquiry did recommend that the dedemocratic peoples' republic f korea be referred to the icc. narrator: the icc, or international criminal court, prosecutes genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. darusman: and this would, of course, mean that, as is the procedure. that the icc take upp prosecutions of those at the
darusman: the international community is not only doing something for the koreans, but it is also the koreans that are showing the world. it will take time, but it will finally reach that moment of truth. and, uh, that there is light at the end of the tunnel there. narrator: and preparations for chanyang's wedding are now well underway. [conversation in korean]
tom: my name is tom hoffman, and i am 70 years old. i was born on may 8, 1944, in budapest, hungary. a few months earliererhe germaas had entered to, uh, to complete the finin solution, w which was the extermination of all jewsws. we had entered the budapest ghetto, but my mother knew that we couldn't stay there. so we were hidden in a christian family for several months. margit and pista worked for my dad. and margit came into the ghetto and carried me and my sister out as if we were her children. she took us into her home and she hid us.
when the germans came, we were puttnto a falslse wall. fromom e miracle, the two infants never cried. these were heroic people who risked their lives. how do you...pay back, you know, someone who did thatat? we were hidden until the liberation early in 1945, when the russians and the americans entered budapest. i feel v very fortunate. i i fel very lucky. and, uh, and i know a lot of people were deprived of that. children. we knonow as the mothers werere wawalking to t the gas chahambe,
sometetimes holding thehe hand f their children, they s sang a song. "ani ma'amin, ani ma'amin." and those two words mean "i believe." sometimes people wonder why i am so committed to undoing injustices. i became a lawyer because i wanted to help others as i was helped. i try to help people who have been unjustly convicted and try to save them as i was s saved. thee united nanations and d the principles that it stands gives us hope that w we could do things together in a peaceful way and allow the world to finally put these holocausts behind us and to live together. ° >> this is dw news live from